From different technological solutions to extensive pre-meeting preparation, remote board meetings have vastly different requirements than regular remote meetings. Adhering to best practices will help you ensure the board meeting is effective, compliant, and engaging. Here’s the rundown of essential tips for running a successful virtual board meeting.
The absolute first thing to do when considering remote board meetings is checking your local governing laws and bylaws of your organization.
Another important aspect is to check how a quorum is reached. For example, if your board meetings require the physical presence of board members for a quorum, then you need to amend the bylaws to account for remote board meetings. If your company’s bylaws don’t specify how the quorum is constituted, refer to state laws.
Consult with Other Board Members
Remote board meetings are becoming increasingly common, but embracing an entirely virtual format can still be a challenge to some board members. Before deciding to adopt a technology solution for conducting remote board meetings, consult with other board members. Remember, not all board members are equally technology literate and might also be reluctant to switch from in-person board meetings.
Consultations will help you identify and abate any possible adoption fears other board members might have. Organizing demo sessions could help familiarize board members with the technology and the remote meeting format.
Pick Remote Board Meeting Technology Solution
One of the most important elements making up a successful remote board meeting is the technology employed to hold it. The market is abundant in teleconferencing and videoconferencing software solutions. That’s why when picking a solution for your remote board meeting you should analyze the following:
- Number of features vs. needs of your board. Choose a solution with features that are essential to your meeting needs. Getting a solution packed full of options that later won’t be used is a waste of money. Also, software with many features usually overcomplicates the interface, making the software difficult to use.
- Availability of tech support. In case something goes wrong with either the software or the connection, it’s useful to have tech support at the ready. Tech support easily available during a remote board meeting is also handy.
Use Complementary Technology
While video conferencing software lets you communicate and engage with other board members, a board portal can help you prepare the meeting.
Board portals facilitate the management and conduction of the meeting. Interactive presentation of the agenda, along with essential decision-making activities such as voting or deliberating, makes a board portal an integral part of every board meeting.
A board portal will keep the attendees engaged, giving them access to critical documentation. Board members will also be able to work collaboratively within the portal.
Ensure Security Is Solid
During the board meeting, you’ll be discussing critical company matters. Ensuring that unauthorized third parties won’t obtain access to important data is therefore essential.
Multifactor authentication and a secure and up-to-date VPN connection are must-have layers of protection when holding remote board meetings. Security measures are just as important for video conferencing tools as for board portals employed to aid it.
Prepare for the Meeting
Test the environment ahead of the meeting. This will help avoid a situation where either you or other board members have difficulty connecting or using the software.
Send out invitations along with detailed instructions on how to use both the video conferencing software and board portal. Early familiarization will allow for a rich and streamlined remote meeting experience.
Start the Remote Board Meeting Right
When the meeting begins, remind the attendees what are the basic remote board meeting rules.
- speak one at a time
- state their name before speaking
- mute their microphone when not speaking
Restating the rules at the start of the meeting will increase the organization, facilitate minute keeping, and improve the meeting’s quality.
As the chair, your task is to facilitate and strengthen attendee engagement. This task is doubly important when the meeting format is remote. You should pay extra attention to ensure that every attendee can participate evenly. Encourage all participants to discuss evenly. Try to limit side discussions and stick to the items on the agenda.
Establish a Back-Up Plan
Regardless of the amount of planning, something can always go wrong. When holding a remote board meeting, develop contingency plans for various scenarios. For example, what to do when there’s no internet connection? What if a board member suddenly resigns from the meeting?
With a contingency plan prepared for every possible emergency, it’s easier to recover and hold the remote board meeting as planned.
Follow Remote Board Meeting Best Practices
Being able to make critical board decisions even when meeting in-person isn’t possible helps keep organizations operational. By following best practices and employing reliable solutions, remote board meetings can generate the same results as their in-person alternatives.
Convene’s board meeting solution enables organizations to smoothly hold their board meetings remotely. Smart, simple, and secure, Convene is the choice of clients across industries and countries. To learn more about Convene or schedule a product demonstration, visit our website.